Peter Janis & John Cuniberti

Original Reamp

The Radial X-Amp

X-Amp 500™ Development

Reamping™ in one form or another has played a significant role in recording for nearly 50 years. In the 1990's, John Cuniberti simplified the process by introducing the Reamp® to market and in 2001, Radial further advanced the technology by introducing the JD7 Injector™ and an active Reamper called the X-Amp™ in 2003. Radial recently purchased the Reamp company from John and plan to continue the legacy. This latest 500 series version of the X-amp is yet a further evolution of Reamping technology.

Reamping… What is it?
The process is simple. Connect a guitar to a DI box like the Radial J48. The thru connection goes to the guitar amp and the low-Z direct box output connects to a preamp, mixer and recorder. Mic the guitar amp like you normally would, only this time, while recording the wet signal, you will save a dry track that you can use to Reamp later. The magic is capturing the performance while the guitarist is fresh. Once you have the track, send the guitarist home. You are now free to use the wet track or send the dry track back through amps and pedals to create a new sound. Even the wailing feedback will be retained. It will blow you away.

The coolest part about Reamping is being able to change the sound as the production advances. Steely Dan famously recorded every album with several different guitarists yet magically produced consistent sounding guitar tracks. The magic of course came from Reamping™. With the advent of unlimited digital tracks, Reamping is now available to the masses.

Addressing today's studio environment
The 500 series X-Amp began as a simple reversion of the original Radial X-Amp set inside the 500 series format. As we developed the Workhorse™ rack and began using the X-Amp in its new home, we soon realized that some additions could be very helpful. This became particularly evident as we looked into how 500 series modules tend to be used in context with today's digital recording systems.

The first question we asked ourselves was: "Why would anyone want to process signals in the analogue world when they could easily buy a plug-in and create effects digitally?" The answer is threefold: First, analogue sounds different, ugly and imperfect. Second, so many plug-ins have become sterile sounding presets. Third, twisting real knobs is a lot of fun! There is no argument that working inside the box is efficient. But the X-Amp is not about finding a quick fix… it is all about finding killer tones and maximizing the production quality.

Today's studios are about fast and immediate. Having front-mounted ¼" jacks easily accessible seemed a necessity. These buffered outputs are able to drive Hi-Z cables upwards to 50 feet without noise. We took this one step further by introducing two separate level controls. You no longer have to reach over to the amps or go into the iso-booth to adjust levels; you can now control everything right from the front panel.

Noise, Distortion and Drive Power
Next up, we had to deal with the real world of buzz, hum and noise. High impedance circuits are particularly sensitive to noise. The active buffering circuit inside the X-Amp is 100% discrete – meaning that we use large full-size parts and we employ Radial's award winning class-A circuitry for the most natural tone. This way, what you put in will be delivered to the amps without artefact or distortion.

We then isolate the outputs using custom wound transformers in effort to eliminate the hum and buzz caused by ground loops. This is particularly necessary when using older vintage guitar amps that sound great, but do not always have the best electrical grounding.

Assigning the Omniport
When the X-Amp is used with the Workhorse, the Omniport becomes a guitar input. This means that you can use the X-Amp as a guitar splitter or AB distro to feed two amps simultaneously. You can also take the XLR out from the X-Amp to record a dry track at the same time for further Reamping.

The X-Amp brings Reamping™ technology to the 500 series world and is 100% compatible with older API Lunchbox™ modules.